Traumatic Brain Injury Education for Children and Adolescents with TBI, Families and Caregivers: A Systematic Scoping Review

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      To examine the types of traumatic brain injury (TBI) education developed for children and adolescents with TBI and their families/caregivers; and identify gaps in the existing pediatric literature.

      Data Sources

      English-language articles published through July 2018 were systematically identified using PubMed, PsychINFO, PsychBITE, ERIC, CINAHL, ABIEBR, PROSPERO, and Cochrane Library databases. The search strategy included words, such as TBI, head injury, concussion, pediatric, child(ren), adolesc(ent), and education, training, and instruction.

      Study Selection

      Target populations included pediatric participants (age <18) with TBI, their families/caregivers, and excluding coaches, educators, or the general public. Only articles that described education, information or training on the consequences of pediatric TBI were included.

      Data Extraction

      Two independent reviewers abstracted data using a REDCap database, which included the sample characteristics, study design, education types, education delivery, dose/duration of education, measurement and results, and authors’ main conclusions. All data were compared and discrepancies resolved.

      Data Synthesis

      Forty-two articles met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. Based on commonly used TBI severity indices, 24 studies were classified as mild TBI (mTBI) and 18 studies were primarily moderate/severe TBI (mod-severe TBI). Only six studies geared the education strictly to children or adolescents with TBI. TBI education was provided primarily in the emergency department or outpatient/community setting. The majority of studies described TBI education as the main topic or intervention. Examples of the educational topics included TBI-related symptoms, self-management of symptoms, TBI recovery process, return to work/school, family issues, and when to seek care.


      Few studies have examined the effectiveness of TBI education designed for children and adolescents with TBI or their relatives/caregivers, and even fewer studies have addressed the educational needs of diverse populations. More work is needed on supporting family members, particularly siblings, with adjusting to the consequences of their brother's or sister's TBI. Future work is also needed to develop and evaluate innovative programs and technology that promote self-management of TBI-related symptoms among children and adolescents with TBI.

      Author(s) Disclosures

      The authors have no disclosures.


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